Two years and $365 million later, the River Spirit Casino Resort will have a ribbon cutting ceremony today in preparation for the grand opening of the 27 story 483-room hotel, which will open on New Year’s Day.
According to a hotel operator, today’s ceremonies are scheduled to begin at 2:30pm in the hotel’s grand lobby, followed by refreshments at 3pm and a tour of the 3rd floor at 3:30pm.
Billed by River Spirit as a “tropical themed destination resort,” the Muscogee (Creek) Nation property is expected to generate $135 million annually for the local economy of Tulsa, Oklahoma where it is located on the banks of the Arkansas River at 81st & Riverside Drive. Pat Crofts, Chief Executive Officer at Muscogee Creek Nation, says a sizeable impact has already been made just reaching this point. A large portion of the expansion debuted in August. Crofts said, “Over the course of construction, we’ve had over 4,000 construction workers. Between ourselves and Margaritaville and now Ruth’s Chris we’ll have hired over 1,000 new full-time jobs,” according to KTUL Channel 8 News.
Crofts told the news agency, “I’ve said this many times and I truly mean it, you could take this property, put it anywhere in the world, and it would compete with the finest resorts in any country.”
First announced three years ago, the goal of the Tulsa County development was to transform the facility into a regional destination resort. Crofts said, “We didn’t want to build just a bigger box, could have built a bigger casino and a generic hotel, we didn’t want to do that,” according to the report.
In addition to the 27-floor all-glass hotel tower, hotel accommodations include several dining and entertainment venues including, the 5,000 square-foot “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” bar, which is the largest of all the Margaritaville resorts; a resort pool with cabanas and beach bar on the river, and a 30,000 square foot convention and meeting center, retail shops, and fitness center. The 2,500 seat Paradise Cove Theater for live entertainment and sporting events, along with Ruth’s Chris Steak House are set to open next month.
In total, the entertainment facility and resort offers more than 200,000 square feet of gaming including 2,600 high-tech electronic machines, approximately 27 table games featuring Blackjack, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, 21+3, Free Bet Blackjack and Fortune Baccarat. The casino’s poker room offers cash games and tournament play featuring No Limit Texas Hold’em, Stud, Pot-limit Omaha, and Omaha Hi-Low.